Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tronsen Meadows 3.24.09

I had a tough time deciding this week what I wanted to do. I wasn't too enthused with the crappy West side snow so I decided to head East with the bonus of better weather. I am having a tough time to find climbs that I haven't done that afford reasonable Winter access. Earlier this year when I was on Mt. Lillian I could plainly see Bentrim Hill. So there it was, the goal for the day. I decided to forgo an early start to instead help with the kids and come home after dark. I wasn't able to sleep much last night which made me very sleepy. In fact I was so tired after passing Easton that I was forced to pull over and sleep for a half hour. Feeling much better I pressed on. The plan was to use the Tronsen Meadow's trail to access the Old Ellensburgh trail which I hoped would be somewhat easy to follow in nearly direct line to Bentrim Hill. This is one of those wonderful Backcourt peaks that can nearly be driven up during other times of the year. I always try to resist those urges and at least put some effort into making the summit. The road to the Tronsen Meadow's trail was well packed and the snowshoes stayed stowed on the pack. Once on the trail it was a nice trench until the trail and ski track diverge. Too bad for me I was on the trail less traveled. I was able to follow a faint track without too much trouble. Since I had been up the trail twice in the last 4 months I wasn't to concerned with the actual route. The snow was heavy enough to make the climb harder than previous attempts. My pace slowed to a snail's pace. I gave some thought to just bagging it before reaching at least the meadow's. My nap and slowed pace made the summit out of reach with the remaining daylight. I dropped pack and had lunch which boosted my energy level enough to make it to the flats above me. I was able to make it to the groomed snowmobile track and easily followed it to the Ellensburgh Trail. The trail itself is probably seldom travelled so it didn't look obvious under the snow. There was a packed snowmobile track leading in the general direction I was intending on going so I followed. The track led me to the meadows where there were some snowmobilers doing their thing. Not wanting to tangle the dogs with the sleds I retreated. I gave some thought of trying for some type of loop but my desire to have dinner with my family won out. I cut some distance on the way down by taking a more direct line. I happily made it home just as dinner was done!

Approx 10 miles 2000' of climb 4:30 car to car

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